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Subject: fortresses isolated/captured from the start (e.g. on Madagascar) rss

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Russ Williams
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I noticed on the Africa map in the Flash program that there is a 4-hex island (Madagascar) which can randomly start with a neutral fortress.

The rules say "After placing an army, the moving player claims any newly captured neutral fortresses by replacing these fortresses with his or her own."

Does the first player automatically capture such a fortress on the 4-hex island? It is arguably not "newly" captured, since it was already isolated before the first turn... Yet if it doesn't get captured by a player and instead stays neutral, then technically the game might not end with either player controlling a majority of the fortresses.


Or is the real intent that the random setup process should not create any such already-isolated fortresses...?
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Phil Leduc
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The intent was not to have a fortress on Madagascar. The island is there to point out the possibility of tempo moves. Tempo moves are important when you do not want to move into other areas. For example, if the last area left to capture has room for only two armies. If you were to move into this area your opponent would win the last fortress(es).

When the random fortress generator puts a fortress on Madagascar, you should still be able to play the game by assuming the first player captures the fortress. As first player you should assume your opponent will swap so set up an easy capture to tie the score.
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